Thursday, 15 September 2011

Tryst Lake: Moose and almost Pikas

We went down Hwy. 742 today to do an afternoon hike up to Tryst Lake. Tryst is in the valley below the Tent Ridge Horseshoe hike that we did a few years back, and while picnicking at the Engadine Overlook, we saw two folks way up high on the ridge doing the horseshoe hike.

On our way down to the hike, we saw a mom and a calf moose snacking in Gap Lake.
Gangly critters.
The hike has a 1.9 km start down an uninspired logging road. The start is shared with the various hikes accessed via the Commonwealth Lakes. This is a great section to mountain bike if you're going that far, though I probably wouldn't bring bikes just to do the Tryst hike.
Commonwealth Peak, I think
Once you leave this road trail, you start a steady climb up a the valley of a pretty creek.
Reminiscent of Old Goat creek
Unfortunately, the trail starts being part of the creek bed...
Trail? Creek? Is there a difference?
...and in many places is overgrown with willows. The higher you get, the better the views back across the valley get.
Mt Engadine, the Tower & Mt. Galatea
Mt. Engadine & the Tower. Mt. Buller on the left
The trail only climbs ~250 m but it sure feels like more. It just gets steeper and steeper. Finally you break through to the lake.
The Fist and Tryst Lake 
The two main peaks of Tent Ridge
There's no outlet stream. The lake just leaks out the bottom. We went exploring to the far end of the lake to check out the higher basin.
Just a whole lot of rock
We heard several pikas and found a midden, but despite hunting for about 20 min, we found no pikas. :-(

The view straight back over the lake from here is the familiar crenelated summit of Mt. Chester.
Mt. Chester 
Mt Chester in the sunshine
Around here it started to rain. That's twice in two days it started to rain on us at the point furthest away from our start. The not-really-nice trail on the way up turned into a greasy mess on the way down, and I torqued my ankle on a slippery bit (not serious). Thank goodness for trekking poles.

This was not a bad selection for an afternoon jaunt. The trailhead's just 45 min south of Canmore on Hwy 742, and it only takes a little over an hour to get to the lake. It would have been better had we been able to track down some pikas, though.

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